Our school is a unique school in that 90% of our student population receives Free and Reduced lunch and 43% of our student population speaks a language other than English at home. Given this wide range of backgrounds and ethnicity, we embrace every opportunity to provide engaging curriculum and pedagogy to increase student achievement.
Our students love using technology!
They are extremely motivated when they get the opportunity to use classroom iPads to show what they know. First graders use iPads to learn independently, do group projects, record their thinking and their read alouds, code robots and much more!
Our first graders do many different activities with iPads. Students use different apps, such as PicCollage, Shadow Puppet and Popplet to respond to literature during independent reading time. Students also use iPads for math enrichment to master our current standards, for gathering information for our informational report writing unit and for coding so students can explore the world of computers. In addition, students use Handwriting Without Tears as an intervention to improve their handwriting.
In addition to everyday use, we have broader digital citizenship goals for ours students.
Students will be getting district iPads as 4th and 5th graders so any exposure that we can give them in first grade will help them to be responsible digital citizens. Our world relies heavily on technology and using technology to learn is often more engaging to students than traditional methods. Lastly, we feel that, as teachers, we need to try to reflect the world as best as we can in our classroom in order to prepare students for their future.
We currently have 20 iPad minis in first grade to share amongst all 4 classes from a grant about 6 years ago. They are not able to update any further (due to operating system) and some of them have lost their ability to record sound. We use different apps with students to respond to literature and some of these apps will not work now the way they are intended. Our goal is to get a few more iPads to share so we can all have a few that will function for small groups to use at a time.
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